Mona McSharry Spearheads 24-Strong Swim Ireland Squad For European Championships

Mona MCSharry 2021
Mona McSharry: Photo Courtesy: Swim Ireland

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Swim Ireland has confirmed a 24-strong team will compete at the LEN European Championships which started on Monday in Budapest.

Twenty swimmers will compete at the Duna Arena including the quartet of Shane Ryan, Darragh Greene, Daniel Wiffen and Mona McSharry who have already achieved the consideration time for the Tokyo Olympics.

The quartet that competed for Olympic qualification at the FINA Diving World Cup in Japan last week comprise the diving team.

Tanya Watson became the first female Irish diver to qualify for the Olympics with Oliver Dingley also booking a ticket to Tokyo for his second Games and they will be joined in the Hungarian capital by Clare Cryan and Ciara McGing who must wait and see if invitations are extended to them.

Focus On Relay Qualification

McSharry posted an Irish 100m breaststroke record of 1:06.29 at the Irish trials in April with Wiffen setting marks in the 800 (7:52.68) and 1500 free (15:16.90).

Greene lowered the men’s 100br to 59.76 with Ryan a three-time Irish record holder.

The quartet are joined by national record-holders Brendan Hyland, Conor Ferguson, Danielle Hill, Ellen Walshe and Jack McMillan and Irish Junior record-holders Paddy Johnston and Eoin Corby.

Daniel Wiffen

Daniel Wiffen: Photo Courtesy: Swim Ireland

Finn McGeever set a 400 free record of 3:53.83 at the trials and will make his European debut in Budapest.

The focus for the swimming contingent will be to qualify an Irish relay team to the Games for the first time since 1972.

The top 12 nations at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju automatically qualified a relay team and with 16 slots available per relay, it means four positions are still available before the qualification period ends on 31 May.

The Irish men’s 4x100m medley relay finished 14th in Gwangju whilst the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay were 16th.

These positions must be secured further with faster times than those achieved in Gwangju with the Championships in Budapest being the last opportunity for European nations to do so.

An Irish team in the mixed 4x100m medley relay has also been selected for Budapest, as has a quartet for the women’s 4x100m medley and 4x100m freestyle relay events.

NPD Rudd Outlines “Clear Intent And Purpose”

Swim Ireland’s National Performance Director Jon Rudd said:

jonrudd

Jon Rudd – Photo Courtesy: Jon Rudd

“For our swimmers, this event has an explicit relay focus as far as we are concerned and the athletes are aware that this is the absolute priority for these Championships.

“There is nothing more honourable in our sport than representing your nation in a relay event and this team have been selected with one purpose in mind – that of Olympic relay qualification.

“The team is littered with high-quality athletes, and we will be doing all we can to see at least one Irish relay team feature at an Olympic Games for the first time in 49 years.

“For our divers, it’s off a plane from Tokyo and onto a plane to Budapest in the quest for much needed international competition leading into the summer, something that we have all missed so much in the last 14 months.

“Across swimming and diving, it is a large team, and it has been selected with a clear intent and purpose.”

 


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